Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

S4S                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.
While thus in some cases a single principle or feelin^ unites
Open questions in parties together, in others a principle—and a
party movers. vejy jmportant one—may be held or rejected
consistently with party allegiance. This is owing to local
interests which clash with other local interests, or to political
doctrines held in one part of a country and not in another or
to the interests of a class like the aristocracy of English land-
owners, which could unite their strong forces on the two
sides against a minister who sought to make the price of grain
such as would be for the advantage of the whole country
rather than of the land-owners. It is necessary for the stabil-
ity of parties to have some such open questions, otherwise
they will drive conscientious or wise men out of their ranks,
and perhaps destroy their organization. There is no way of
carrying on public affairs in safety without conceding to polit-
ical men connected with the party in power a certain amount
of independence. If the whip is used too freely, there will
be a rebellion.
Almost always a body of independent men in a legislature,
Third parties and entertaining deep convictions of their own and
independent   mem-                                          -it    1        ,1              ii.      e  j_i                      t_i
b«rs.                   courageous, will be the salt of the assembly,
and will keep both parties within the bounds of right meas-
ures. But I cannot think that a third party, with strength
enough to determine measures one way or the other by their
votes, is fitted to do much service. If such a third party can
carry any measure at will, it becomes a formidable power,
and is liable to be tampered with and corrupted by negotia-
tions with the others. Its members will become mere soldiers
of fortune. Perhaps men will help to form such parties in the
hope of getting the advantages arising from holding the bal-
ance of power.
It may be made a question of political morality to what
HOW far ou^ht extent and in what cases open questions ought
open quehtions to be                                                                                                  T           ^an.*]
allowed in a party, to be allowed in party organization, in general,
measures of vast importance, affecting the vital interests of
the state at the moment, the passage of which cannot be
postponed without prejudice to national interests, can by no